Waffle House Apologizes for Calling Police on Couple in Florida
Waffle House apologized for calling the police on a couple after a bill dispute at a Fort Walton Beach, Florida, store location got heated.
Footage of what took place during the May 2 incident, after police arrived, circulated via social media. A version of the incident circulated first, taken from the couple’s cellphone video, and another version of the incident was spread by Fort Walton Beach police, taken via body cam.
The cellphone video as circulated via Shaun King’s Twitter account shows about four minutes of what happened. It leaves off the parts where the police officer said multiple times they could go if they payed for the food. The over 20 minutes of police body cam video shows the entire length of the incident. The couple is seemingly too emotional to grasp multiple chances to resolve the incident, at least temporarily, by paying the bill. The police ultimately allowed them to go back into the store, pay, and pick up their to-go food package. They are then released.
Waffle House said the couple has already received a full refund, and that Waffle House chief executive Walter G. Ehmer called to apologize to the woman, according to The New York Times.
“While our review of the Fort Walton Beach, Fla., incident is continuing, we think both sides could have handled this situation better,” said a Waffle House representative, via The New York Times. “On our part, our employee could have done more to de-escalate the dispute before calling the police.”
The couple and the head person on duty say in the video that the dispute arose from the price of orange juice. The couple also said there were other issues with the bill but those are not made clear.
The Mayor Dick Rynearson of Fort Walton Beach said he supports the police 100 percent, according to The New York Times.